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Man arrested for 1991 murder in Franklin County

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 09:38

URBANCREST, Ohio (WCMH) -- A 30-year-old cold case relating to a Franklin County murder has been solved and a suspect has been arrested.

Robert Edwards, 67, has been arrested and charged in the death of Alma Lake on June 3, 1991, according to Franklin County Common Pleas court records.

Alma Lake

According to court records, Edwards raped and murdered Lake before leaving her body in the village of Urbancrest near Olive Street and Craig Street in southwest Franklin County.

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Edwards is also accused of the murder of Michelle Dawson, whose body was found on Nov 11, 1996, in Licking County in a similar manner to Lake's.

Currently, there are no charges in Licking County for the death of Dawson.

In 2021, DNA evidence linked Edwards to both murders with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation confirming it was his DNA after obtaining a search warrant for Edwards' DNA.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is scheduled to discuss the solving of this cold case in a Tuesday afternoon.

Edwards is set to be arraigned on August 17 at 9 a.m.

Categories: Ohio News

Watch: Dolly Parton visits Ohio State in support of Imagination Library

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 08:28

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Dolly Parton is visiting Columbus on Tuesday to support her Imagination Library program in Ohio.

Along with Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine, Parton is attending a private luncheon on the Ohio State University campus to raise funds and awareness for the Imagination Library program. The program is scheduled to begin at noon. You can watch it in the player above.

How cooking is teaching Columbus teens about mental health

The program mails “one high-quality, age-appropriate book each month,” to Ohio kids until they turn five years old, according to a news release from the organization.

Ohio kids are now eligible to enroll in the free program, with 327,743 already signed up -- 45% of eligible kids under age 5 in Ohio.

Parton began the program in Tennessee in the 1990s and has now expanded across the U.S. and internationally. Parents or guardians can sign up for the program here.

Categories: Ohio News

National gas price average below $4 for first time in five months

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 07:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The national average price for gas in the United States has dropped below $4.00 for the first time in five months.

GasBuddy reports that the national average sits at $3.99 for a gallon of gas, the first time since early March that number has officially been below the $4 mark.

Columbus Gas Prices Tracker

They also report that Americans are now spending close to $400 million less on gas each day compared to a month ago.

In Columbus, the average price for gas sits at $3.58 after a a drop of 20 cents over the past week.

The cheapest gas station in the Columbus area was priced at $3.09 a gallon, while the most expensive was $4.93.  

Categories: Ohio News

President signing CHIPS Act today: Impact to Intel and Ohio

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 05:00

WASHINGTON (WCMH) - President Joe Biden plans to put pen to paper Tuesday on Intel's most wanted legislation before it makes the jump into Ohio.

The CHIPS and Science Act, which has made the rounds in both the U.S. House and Senate since 2021, finally cleared both chambers of Congress at the end of July. The president announced shortly afterward that he intended to sign the bill into law in the White House's Rose Garden.

The president has not publicly announced a time he will sign the CHIPS Act on Tuesday, but NBC4 will stream the signing as it happens in the video player above.

Intel in Ohio: What kind of pollution does a semiconductor plant make?

The CHIPS Act has been cited by Intel as the one thing it needed before it would commit to "put shovels in the ground," as CEO Pat Gelsinger said. The company has yet to set a new date for its groundbreaking ceremony in New Albany, but has given every indication that a new date would be set after the president's signature dried.

The legislation in its current form provides $52 billion in incentives and tax credits for semiconductor chip makers like Intel. The silicon giant already planned to spend around $20 billion to build a semiconductor fabrication plant in New Albany, but would get an additional funding boost from CHIPS.

Ohio Intel jobs open: Where can you apply?

Several Ohio politicians, including Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, have voiced support for the CHIPS Act since Intel announced it was bringing a new semiconductor fabrication plant to Ohio.

“When you build these things, it’s going to be the gift that will keep on giving to Ohio for generations,” Husted told NBC4. “What Ohio has to prove is that we can build the supply chain that is second to none in the world and if we do that, we will win more and more investment, more and more companies will come here. That’s why building out this whole ecosystem from a workforce point of view is critical to our success."

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Husted added the CHIPS Act could aid Intel and its plans, but also Ohio’s economy as a whole, attracting other businesses and more jobs.

“That may mean construction trade jobs, it could mean truck drivers, it can mean engineering technicians," Husted said. "It’s so many aspects of the economy."

Categories: Ohio News

How cooking is teaching Columbus teens about mental health

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 04:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A new culinary arts program in Bexley is promoting mental health practices by giving Columbus-area teens a creative space to learn new skills.

Kitchen of Life is an initiative that teaches teens social and emotional skills through cooking, spearheaded by LifeTown Columbus -- a nonprofit dedicated to providing students opportunities to develop life and pre-employment skills. The idea for the program was born from the family of Shea Kaltmann, who noticed how isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to skyrocketing mental health issues among teenagers. 

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“We were able to really see the effects COVID-19 has on people -- they weren’t able to connect with each other anymore, they were isolated, they felt alone,” said Kaltmann, who serves as director of Kitchen of Life. “Especially in teenagers, we saw their mental health worsen and we wanted to do something about it.” 

More than a third of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This led to increased rates of attempted suicide and decreased rates of youth feeling like they belonged at school.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the launch of Kitchen of Life on Aug. 2

The program found its home at 2525 E. Main St. in Bexley and celebrated its launch on Aug. 2. Kitchen of Life has garnered statewide recognition, including support from Gov. Mike DeWine.

"I have visited LifeTown and have seen first-hand the valuable impact of the program," DeWine said in a release. "This hands-on, interactive experience will spark both traditional learning and critical soft skills.

Kaltmann said the program will offer classes five days a week and expects more than 5,000 student visits throughout the year. Kitchen of Life has connected with a number of local school districts to bring Columbus teens to the program, including Eastmoor, Bexley, Reynoldsburg and Whitehall schools.

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Students will be bussed to Kitchen of Life throughout the year to attend four two-hour sessions during the school day. The program is based on a curriculum that hones in on social emotional learning, which allows teens to recognize their emotions and plan strategies on how to work through them, said Kaltmann. 

“Interwoven throughout the lesson is an experience where they can be generous to others, where they can have independence choosing their own recipe,” said Kaltmann. 

Each session will be focused on one of four topics: belonging, generosity, independence and mastery. Students will go through the steps of preparing and cooking a meal, then come together to talk through their process. They will discuss how they felt during the lesson, what made them feel heard and supported, and what they wish would've been done differently.

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A staggering number of students go through a mental health crisis once they go to college, said Kaltmann. Emotional crises among college students is only on the rise: depression in college students increased 135% from 2013 to 2021 and anxiety increased 110%, according to a study from Boston University researchers.

Kaltmann hopes the lessons learned from the Kitchen of Life program will be a preventative measure for teens entering the workforce or going to college, and give them the tools to tackle tough situations. 

“Instead of waiting for when someone is in crisis mode and doesn’t know where to turn to, and something really awful happens, we’re trying to have a fun, engaging and preventative way to boost self-esteem, connectedness and self image,” said Kaltmann. 

Categories: Ohio News

Back to school: What parents should know about their children's wellness

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 03:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- There's a long to-do list for parents as kids head back to school. It's not just supplies and clothes, it's their health, too.

Here are some things to know as schools get closer to reopening across central Ohio.

Eye exams

Zastudil said it's important to get an eye exam for children at the start of the school year.

"Younger children may be starting to have problems with vision and not know it," said "We offer physicals, sports physicals, physicals for marching band, and physicals for school," said Holly Zastudil, a family nurse practitioner at the CVS on Sawmill Road. "We know as parents that it's important once they get to school that they can read everything, see the board, and have the best year possible."

Minute Clinic can offer a basic whisper test for hearing, but a more advanced exam needs to be done by an audiologist.

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"In Ohio, if you have a child going into seventh grade, they're going to need an initial meningitis vaccine, and then a Tdap booster," Zastudil said. "Tdap is tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, which is coverage for whooping cough. Or if you have a child going into twelfth grade, a meningitis booster."

Students entering preschool, kindergarten or a childcare facility must be up to date on all their early childhood vaccinations. Completion of a Certificate of Immunization form is required. Without it, the school or facility may not be able to admit your child.

This is particularly important for parents who have moved here from out of state where standards may be different, said a CVS spokesperson.

What about COVID-19 vaccines?

Check to see if there are any specific requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, which may differ between public and private schools. It is safe for students to receive COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time as other immunizations.

According to the CDC, children 5 and above are eligible for an initial COVID-19 vaccine and booster five months later. Those six months to 5 years are eligible for their first COVID-19 vaccination.

There's also a vaccine for children 18 months to 4 years old; one for children 5 to 11 years, and then one for children 12 and older.

Minute Clinic keeps a range of vaccines on hand, so ask if there are other shots your child needs.

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"With all the fun summer has to offer, it's easy for our sleep schedules to get altered," said Zastudil. "Parents and kids too. So, the most important thing is for parents to start thinking about getting their children onto a proper sleep schedule before school starts.

"We know as parents they're going to be earlier to get up earlier and that can be difficult. So my best advice is the electronics -- make sure those electronics that your kids love are turned off an hour before sleep, so that the child's mind can rest, and prepare the body to rest, so that they have the best start to their day."

Here’s what is recommended by the CDC: 10 to 12 hours for preschoolers’; nine to 12 hours for those six to 12; and teenagers need 8 to 10 hours.

Make handwashing a healthy habit

Study after study shows that proper handwashing is the most important measure against spreading germs. Hands should be washed after every restroom visit and before eating a meal as germs are often spread from hands to the mouth.

Teach young children – and remind older students – to use soap, warm water if it’s available, and to scrub for at least 20 seconds. Sing the Happy Birthday song twice, and that's about the same length of time. For hand sanitizer, rub all surfaces of the hand including in between the fingers, for 20 seconds or until the hand sanitizer is dry.

List: Back-to-school dates in central Ohio  Allergies and medications at school

Many of us have children who manage chronic conditions like asthma and allergies that can be triggered by respiratory conditions, certain foods or insect stings. Visit the school in advance and talk to your child’s teachers and the school nurse about those needs, a CVS spokesperson advised.

Make sure they are prepared to assist if needed and that your child has quick and easy access to medication when it’s required.

If your student has food allergies, it’s also helpful to speak with the cafeteria staff about any special meal-planning that might be required.

At CVS, sports physicals are reduced by $25.00 from the $65.00 standard cost. An appointment can be booked online.

"In a sports physical we'll check your child's vital signs: Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, oxygen level. Of course we'll check their height and weight so they're growing appropriately, and then we do a head-to-toe exam," Zastudil said. "So we're looking at head, eyes, ears, nose and throat; listen to heart and lungs, check their abdomen, and then have them move around a little bit at the end."

Categories: Ohio News

More showers and storms alongside cooler temperatures

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 03:10
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • This morning: Chance showers, few rumbles overnight, low 72
  • Today: Showers likely, some rumbles with cold front, high 81
  • Tonight: Showers and t-storms, low 66
  • Wednesday: Chance of showers, partly cloudy, high 82
  • Thursday: Few PM Storms, high 83
  • Friday: Sunny, cooler, high 78
  • Saturday: Sunny sky, high 79
FORECAST DISCUSSION:

Good morning and happy Tuesday!

It's another muggy start to the day with more showers and storms on the way.

As a cold front moves into the area today, we'll see more scattered showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures won't be quite as warm, only reaching a high in the low 80s, but we will stay muggy thanks to dew points in the low to mid 70s.

The chance for showers and storms will hang around tonight as the front continues to slide southeast. Temperatures will be more seasonal for this time of year and fall to the mid 60s.

Tomorrow, with the front still in the southeast corner of the state, we'll see a few more showers and storms. Temperatures will be similar to today and max out in the lower 80s.

Our weather pattern will finally start to change by the end of the week thanks to another cold front. This front will move through on Thursday and trigger a few more afternoon thunder showers.

Behind this front, dry and much cooler air will move in. Temperatures Friday and into the weekend will start off in the mid to upper 50s, which is 5-10 degrees below normal for this time of year, and only warm up to a high around 80 degrees alongside plenty of sunshine.

Have a great day!

-Liz

Categories: Ohio News

Crash to cause morning delays on Dublin road

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 21:22
Traffic light down at SR 161 and Shamrock Boulevard in Dublin.

DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) -- A crash involving a dump truck will cause traffic delays along State Route 161 in Dublin Tuesday morning.

According to the city, SR 161 is reduced to one way in each direction at Shamrock Boulevard after a dump truck hit the pole holding the traffic signal.

The city said drivers should avoid the area if at all possible, and drivers along SR 161 should be prepared to stop at the intersection until further notice.

Westbound drivers can access Shamrock Boulevard from SR 161, but there is no access to Shamrock Boulevard south from SR 161.

A temporary stop sign will be set up for Tuesday's morning traffic.

Categories: Ohio News

'Habitual drunk driver' sentenced for crash that killed wife

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 19:47

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A Columbus man who the Franklin County sheriff once described as a "habitual drunk driver" was sentenced to prison for a 2019 accident that killed his wife.

Robert Ellis, 56, was sentenced to between 9 and 13 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree aggravated vehicular homicide.

According to police, Ellis was drunk behind the wheel on Oct. 16, 2019, when the crash killed Dawn Ellis, 51.

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Police said Ellis' blood alcohol level was .185, more than double the legal limit.

The crash happened when Ellis was driving east on Alkire Road west of Johnson Road in Prarie Township when he failed to make a curve in the road and hit a utility pole.

Dawn Ellis was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to court records, Ellis has a total of 13 prior convictions dating back to 1985 and 36 past driving suspensions.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus police deputy chief alleges discrimination in lawsuit

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 17:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A deputy chief for the Columbus Division of Police has filed a lawsuit alleging the department and the city of discrimination.

In the suit, Deputy Chief Jennifer Knight alleges she is being forced to resign or is having a "fabricated misconduct case" filed against her due to being an "outspoken critic of Defendants' unlawful, racist, and corrupt policies and practices."

The lawsuit, filed Friday, names the city, Chief of Police Elaine Bryant, First Assistant Chief of Police Lashanna Potts, Mayor Andrew Ginther, retired city safety director Ned Pettus, and other city officials as defendants.

Knight was relieved of duty in November 2021 for failing to show up for a random drug test. She returned to work in December 2021.

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Knight's lawsuit claims she is being targeted due to speaking out about former Columbus Police Lt. Melissa McFadden.

McFadden was accused during a 2018 internal affairs investigation of creating a hostile work environment and harboring an "us against them" attitude when it came to Black and white officer. Knight is white, McFadden is Black. McFadden was awarded $2 by a jury in June after it found the city racially discriminated against and retaliated against McFadden.

Among the allegations leveled by Knight are that she was passed up for a promotion in 2019 in favor of a less qualified candidate, undermined and unfairly criticized by her male counterparts, and subjected to "direct observed collection" of urine following her reinstatement in December 2021.

Knight is seeking compensatory, special, and punitive damages.

The full lawsuit is below.

JENNIFER-KNIGHT-COMPLAINT218949Download
Categories: Ohio News

Intel in Ohio: What kind of pollution does a semiconductor plant make?

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 16:20

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) - Intel, which is on track to start building a massive semiconductor chip factory in Licking County later this year, is eager to talk about environmental concerns that might arise when a major manufacturer comes to town.

Intel currently has factories in Chandler, Arizona, Hillsboro, Oregon and Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

The company publishes environmental data online for all of its facilities, and shared with NBC4 their plans to improve those numbers. However, not all of those solutions are clear.

“We're going to take everything that we've learned from Arizona and New Mexico and Oregon and bring it to Ohio,” said Linda Qian, of Intel’s global public affairs team.

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There is still plenty of work to do to meet some long-term environmental goals, Qian added.

"In April, we announced a new commitment to reach net zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2040,” she said. “We really don't know how we're going to achieve that yet. You know, it's not something we can really just buy our way out of. It's something that we really as an, as a company-- as an industry with our supply chain have to go figure out how to achieve that, through research and development-- through industry collaboration.”

Intel is also working on reducing its impact on local water supplies.

“Semiconductor manufacturing is water intensive," Qian said. "But over the last four-plus decades, we've really refined and optimized our process to be able to conserve, reuse, and recycle as much water as we possibly can.”

Data for Intel’s Arizona plant shows less water usage with each passing quarter in 2021.

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The company says it plans to be "net positive" for water use by 2030, meaning every drop of fresh water used by Intel would be recycled, cleaned and put back into the water supply.

According to Qian, some of Intel’s plants are already doing that, but others are only returning about 80 percent of the water they use.

Qian said Ohio's proximity to Lake Erie was one of many factors that made the state attractive for Intel's newest plant. As part of an incentive package, a large reclamation facility will be built by Intel's new campus.

In at least one area with an existing Intel plant, the company collaborates with local environmental advocates.

The Community Environmental Working Group in New Mexico was formed decades ago by community members, to take a research-driven approach to shrink the Rio Rancho plant's environmental footprint. Intel has employees participating as members of the independent group.

"They're more open and more -- providing stuff than almost anybody you can find," said John Bartlit, the group's chair. "They also have more resources than almost anybody you can find.”

Bartlit says the CEWG has gotten results, including better pollution abatement equipment and taller smokestacks to make emissions less bothersome on the ground.

"We want to be a good neighbor, we want to be an asset to the community,” Qian said.

Intel is setting up a community advisory panel for the New Albany plant, and anyone is welcome to participate.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio bill aims to reduce incarceration, allow early release to non-violent offenders

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 15:41

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- If criminal sentencing schemes are altered, a new state bill would allow Ohioans to get out of prison early.

Introduced to the Statehouse in late July, the bipartisan-backed House Bill 708, or the Sentencing Fairness and Justice Act, would permit Ohioans behind bars for non-violent offenses to appeal their sentence -- on the condition that the state enacts legislation to reduce or change sentencing guidelines for the respective crime.

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“The general principle of the bill is a step forward in our quest for restorative justice across Ohio,” House Majority Leader Bill Seitz (R-Wadsworth), a primary sponsor of the bill, said.

Seitz and fellow sponsor Rep. Shayla Davis (D-Garfield Heights) said HB 708 would apply to all criminal offenses, except for the most serious crimes like murder and rape -- two offenses for which Seitz said he doesn't see lawmakers reducing penalties.

“When we start to change and shift with society, we must also look at those non-violent offenses,” Davis said.

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As the bill currently stands, people who entered into plea deals would be able to appeal for a sentence reduction. But Seitz and Davis said that will likely change in the future, barring those who accepted a plea from appealing their sentence.

“Unless someone can prove that there’s ineffective counsel that caused them to end up in the situation, they’re essentially admitting guilt,” Davis said.

Because the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts Black and Brown men, Davis said HB 708 would be a step in the right direction.

“When there’s an injustice anywhere, it's injustice to all of us,” she said.

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The bill's short-term impacts remain unclear, as there were no sentence reduction bills in the past four Ohio legislatures that became law, according to a news release from Davis' office.

While Davis said sentence reductions are "extremely rare" in Ohio, there has been a 500% increase in the number of felony offenses added to the Ohio Revised Code since 1980 -- an uptick that Davis said represents a "much-needed step toward decarceration" that HB 708 seeks to accomplish.

With movements nationwide to decriminalize various offenses like drug possession, Davis and Seitz said it could have a large impact in the near future.

“We want them to be reincorporated into society, paying taxes and working hard like the rest of us,” Seitz said.

Both lawmakers said they are hopeful the bill will pass. If not, Seitz said it will likely be re-introduced in the beginning of 2023.

Categories: Ohio News

Recycled bench honors life of waste management employee

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 15:15

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A few weeks back, NBC4 reported on a bench placed in Groveport, made out of recycled plastic to honor an employee of Republic Waste Management, Kristi Sparks, who had died suddenly.

Sparks must have been someone special, so I had to ask the people who gathered around that bench to tell me more.

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Trash. Sparks loved trash. "Hold it, she went through people's trash? “ I asked Republic Billing Supervisor Keilah Harrell. “She did. She was that serious about it."

Serious about recycling Kristi was, and as the data entry specialist at Republic, she made trash repurposing her business.

"Drivers knew Kristi, operations knew Kristi, maintenance knew Kristi, everyone knew Kristi, “ says her co-worker and best friend, Adria Kilbager.

A year ago, she called in sick with a headache. The next phone call Harrell got was much worse.

"Kristi died, and I hit the floor," said Harrell. A brain aneurism took her at 55 years old.

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"I just couldn't believe, I just couldn't believe it," her sister Kathy Hart told me as I sat around the picnic table with her siblings. Sparks and her sisters were thick as thieves, as they say.

"If you were her friend, you were her friend for life," said Michael, Sparks' husband of 31 years.

To honor Sparks, they went through the trash.

"I wanted her husband to be able to walk across the street and sit on the bench and be with her," Kilbager said. "That's what I wanted."

So, Republic employees collected 85 pounds of bottle caps and such recycled into a bench, right across the street from Sparks' house off Main street in Groveport.

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"It's kind of nice to just sit there and reflect, kind of brings her back." Michael said.

"Is there a feeling when you sit on this bench?” I asked her co-workers. ”Yes, she's there. She is there."

"So will you guys be regulars on that bench,” I asked her sisters. “Oh you bet."

"It's like a happy bench, a happy bench. Nobody will ever forget her."

Categories: Ohio News

Pizza to prison: Marion armed robberies net man 20 years minimum

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 14:49

MARION, Ohio (WCMH) - Armed robberies at two different Marion stores landed a man at least two decades behind bars, the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney announced Monday.

Cedrick Riley pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery with a firearm on Thursday, Prosecuting Attorney Raymond A. Grogan Jr. said. A judge sentenced Riley to between 20 to 27 years in prison afterward.

Rileys' charges stemmed from two incidents within a day of each other, with the first happening Oct. 25, 2021, at a Marion Domino's Pizza. Riley went in while multiple people were working, and then robbed the store at gunpoint. He made off from Domino's with several hundred dollars in cash, according to Grogan.

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Riley then proceeded to target the Pop's Party Store carry-out -- just four minutes away from the Domino's -- the next day. At that store, Grogan said he didn't get any money, but Riley did pull out a gun, hit the store owner and knock him to the ground in the process.

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Grogan, who handled prosecution in the case, said multiple victims came forward to talk about the two robberies.

Categories: Ohio News

Racist fliers found in Worthington

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 14:09

WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) -- There is shock and anger coming from Worthington Monday after racist flyers promoting white supremacy were found outside several households near Flint Street.

Several residents along the street, some who have lived here their whole lives, said this type of racist propaganda, has never appeared in their community, until now.

"We're not going to accept this; this is not going to be acceptable," said resident Catherine Willis.

When Willis left her house Monday morning,  she never expected to see a flyer promoting white supremacy outside her driveway.

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"I couldn't quite understand what it was, and then when I saw the logo of the Ku Klux Klan, I said 'Oh, my God,'" she said.

The flyer depicts racist imagery of the Ku Klux Klan, along with a website.

Willis wasn't the only one on her block to get one.

“Finding this, this morning, was absolutely disconcerting," resident Beverly Gordon said.

Gordon has lived along this street for decades and said this has always been a loving and friendly neighborhood.

It's also predominantly Black, with several families having lived here for generations.

"My family's been here since I was four years old," resident Ken Crawford said.

Crawford, a lifelong resident, said he refuses to let those who distribute racist messages affect the way he lives.

"Keep living my life, you know,” he said. “I take care of my parents."

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That is a feeling shared by several others along the street.

"They picked on the wrong people; we're not going anywhere,” said resident Chester Corbitt. “We've been here a long time. If they want a fight, they've got the right group."

Worthington Police have been notified about the flyers and many residents said they have Ring cameras outside their door, but so far, no sightings of whoever was behind the flyers.

Categories: Ohio News

Former Buckeye track star uses battle with Parkinson's to raise awareness

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 13:59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Scott Rider was used to going fast. Now, slowed by Parkinson's Disease, the former Ohio State athlete is using his battle to raise awareness about the disease nationwide.

"I kind of joke, I was once pretty fast and today I'm incredibly slow because of Parkinson's," jokes Rider. "And running is actually how I learned that I had Parkinson's."

A collegiate athlete, Rider has faced his share of challenges. But his diagnosis 16-years ago brought a new set of obstacles for the once two-time All-American.

"I tell you, I cried. My wife embraced me, and I knew right then my life would change forever," Rider recalls of his diagnosis.

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Now, the speedster won't letting anything slow him from raising awareness about the disease.

"There are so many things I can't do, but what I can do is be a resource, and create outreach, and awareness regarding Parkinson's," Rider encourages.

Scott and his close friend Jim Morgan are on a journey -- 'Parkinson's Across America.'

"It's just an amazing transformation when somebody comes out and realizes that there are other people like us that have it," admits Morgan.

On Monday, they visited OhioHealth's Neurological Wellness Center -- a one-of-a-kind facility that serves people battling all forms of neurological diseases.

"We bring people in, and we diagnose them, but then it's really important for us to educate them not only about the disorder, but also how they can use tools at their disposal to really take a lot of control of the disorder," describes Dr. David Hinkle with OhioHealth.

The pair are striving to bring hope, not only to the experts pushing for new research, but those struggling to find the right care.

"This is a very isolating disease," admits Morgan. "People tend to withdraw as they become more and more conscious or self-conscious about the limitations. And I just love the power of community."

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Scott, who now lives in South Carolina, still travels to Columbus regularly to meet with his treatment team.

He says their communal approach lets those, like him, battling know they're not alone.

And as they make their way across the country, it's Parkinson's that's their vehicle, but their mission that's driving them.

"We're in it to use our stories to help people know that when you're diagnosed with Parkinson's, it's not the end of your life," encourages Rider. "It's the beginning of a new style of life."

Scott and Jim will wrap up their journey across America in Phoenix, AZ in October. You can click here to follow and learn about their travels.

You can learn more about Parkinson's Disease, the Parkinson's Foundation, and available resources by calling 1-800-473-4636 or by clicking here.

Categories: Ohio News

DeWine declares Tuesday Dolly Parton Day in Ohio

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 13:14

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Music legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton is getting some extra recognition ahead of her trip to Ohio to promote the state's Imagination Library.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, Dolly Parton Day in the Buckeye State. The official declaration document from his office lists the star's numerous achievements, including launching the original Dolly Parton Imagination Library in her home state of Tennessee, and encourages children to take part in Ohio's program.

Blue to pink: Artists paint condemned Whitehall homes

As previously announced, Parton will attend a private luncheon along with First Lady Fran DeWine on the Ohio State University campus “to raise financial support and awareness for the Imagination Library program in Ohio.” The free program currently mails more than 327,000 Ohio children an age-appropriate book every month. Children from birth to the age of five across the state can take part in the reading initiative.

Columbus school board prepares ‘alternative outcomes’ for school starting amid union negotiations

To learn more about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Ohio or to sign up an eligible child visit ohioimaginationlibrary.org. 

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus school board prepares 'alternative outcomes' for school starting amid union negotiations

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 13:10

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A federal mediator has asked both sides in the ongoing contract stalemate involving Columbus City Schools teachers’ union to begin negotiating again.

In the meantime, after the union, Columbus Education Association (CEA), voted last week to authorize a strike, the district said it is preparing for “alternative outcomes” should a finalized agreement not be met by the first day of school, Aug. 24.

Both sides confirmed in statements that the negotiation teams are scheduled to meet Wednesday.

Columbus schools board files unfair labor practice charge against teachers’ union

“The CEA Team is prepared to make progress and hopeful that CCS arrives prepared as well,” the union posted on social media.

“As the Board has stated, they will continue to approach these negotiations committed to a resolution and under the guidance of our federal mediator,” the district said through a spokesperson, Jacqueline Bryant.

The union's spokesperson said she is hopeful for a positive outcome from Wednesday's negotiations.

"It means movement," said CEA spokesperson Regina Fuentes. "We maintained hope the district would agree to come back to the table, so this keeps us hopeful they will, in fact, come back to the table and come through with their promise to continue negotiations."

Bryant’s statement said the district is “focused on starting school with our teachers on August 24" but "we are prepared for alternate outcomes." Bryant did not say what those alternatives would be should teachers strike.

List: Back-to-school dates in central Ohio 

Bryant said as the details of the alternatives are finalized, district parents and the community will be notified.

The board issued what it said was its final offer to the union late last month. On Aug. 4, CEA voted unanimously to authorize a 10-day strike notice after both sides couldn’t come to an agreement.

At the core of the disagreement are HVAC issues inside district buildings, recruiting and retaining teachers, and smaller class sizes.

The board is scheduled to meet Monday night in a closed-door executive session, where one of the topics could be reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions.

The current teachers’ contract expires Aug. 21.

Categories: Ohio News

Feds arrest Ohio man accused of mailing feces to state lawmakers

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 11:10

**See prior reporting in the video above.

AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — A Mogadore man suspected of mailing feces to Ohio’s Republican state and federal legislators was arrested Friday and appeared before a magistrate.

Richard John Steinle, 77, is a former Portage County Common Pleas Court mediator who allegedly mailed more than 36 letters containing suspected feces to Ohio legislators in Ohio, Kentucky and Washington, D.C., between August 2021 and July 29 of this year, according to a criminal affidavit.

Steinle is charged with mailing "injurious articles" that are non-mailable. He was released on a $20,000 unsecured bond after his initial appearance in Ohio's Northern District federal court on Friday. He's due back in court on Aug. 25.

Vandals paint over Black Lives Matter memorial faces at Franklinton gallery Caught in the act

Written on the paper letters were the words “pig” and “racist,” according to a U.S. Postal Service inspector who reviewed them. They were sent to more than two dozen state and federal lawmakers, including Ohio’s 4th District U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana. The Associated Press reported the letters never made it to their intended recipients.

Statehouse officials provided him with several more similar letters.

Later in July, postal employees in Lakemore found in their office's collection box three more letters addressed to elected officials in Columbus that were "soiled in what appeared to be feces."

Another postal inspector followed Steinle from his home to the post office, and recorded him on video as he dropped off another letter "while wearing a glove."

That one was addressed to Rep. Jordan and contained a greeting card with a $1 bill and more "suspected feces." Jordan's office told inspectors they had received three similar letters.

For the letters’ return addresses, Steinle allegedly listed Ohio’s 9th District Court of Appeals in Akron, as well as the initials and home address of a clerk for that appellate court.

In an interview with U.S. Marshals, that clerk suggested Steinle as the suspect, since they would regularly correspond and knew each other’s home addresses, according to the affidavit.

Blue to pink: Artists paint condemned Whitehall homes Steinle ousted in 2017

Steinle worked as a mediator in the Portage County Common Pleas Court for more than 17 years, until he was forced to resign by Judge Lori Pittman in March 2017, court records show.

Steinle argued he was terminated for submitting an opinion editorial to the Plain Dealer that was critical of Gov. Mike DeWine’s handling of an $859 million fraud case within the Bureau of Workers Compensation, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit he filed against Judge Pittman later that year.

That appellate court clerk told federal investigators Steinle believed the government was "watching him," and that his termination was a violation of his First Amendment right, according to the affidavit. Steinle also blamed the clerk because her husband, an attorney, would not represent him in a lawsuit related to his termination.

Grand Champion steer sold for record-smashing $225K at Ohio State Fair What can’t be sent by mail

Postal regulations bar "biological and regulated medical waste" like feces from being transported by mail.

The federal statute on mailing injurious articles makes it illegal to mail anything natural or artificial "which may kill or injure another," property or other mail, but with exceptions for reasons like research or military use. Postal regulations Under the statute, other non-mailable items include:

  • All kinds of poison or poisonous creatures;
  • Explosives — or machines designed to explode — and flammable materials;
  • Disease germs or scabs;
  • Knives and ballistic knives with ejecting blades.

Defendants found guilty of that statute can face up to a year in prison and a fine. For those who intended to harm or kill the recipients, the prison sentence becomes 20 years. If someone dies as a result, the mailer faces life in prison or the death penalty.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus ranked one of fastest-selling housing markets

News Channel 4 - Mon, 08/08/2022 - 10:48

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Columbus has been ranked among the top 10 U.S. cities where homes are selling the fastest.

In a study from online bank Tangerine, data analyzed from Zillow shows the Columbus housing market is ranked tenth in the nation based on the number days it takes to sell a home. To reach an average total of days a sale is being made in each city, Tangerine combined two numbers: Days to pending and days to close. Days to pending refers to how long until an offer is accepted, and days to close refers to how long it takes to close the sale.

Blue to pink: Artists paint condemned Whitehall homes

Columbus marked an average of 13.14 days for an offer to be accepted and 33.69 days to close the sale, with the average sale being made in 46.84 days. Salt Lake City came in second with 42.24 days and Ogden, Utah, came in fifth with 43.85 days. Rounding out the top ten was Colorado Springs in sixth, San Diego in seventh, Vallejo in eighth and Fort Wayne in ninth.

The study found homes are selling the fastest in the Washington state city of Seattle, where it only takes 12 days for an offer to be accepted and 29.92 days to close the sale, with the average sale being made in 41.92 days. Washington state overall was the state where homes sell the fastest, with two other cities in the top five. Olympia was ranked third with an average of 42.41 days, and Bremerton was fourth with 43.60 days.

Most expensive homes sold in Franklin, Delaware counties in July

"With the majority of the list being taken by states like California, Washington and Utah, it’s clear that there is lots of demand for housing in the west of the nation, more specifically the west coast," a spokesperson for Tangerine said in a release. "In some cities, it takes less than two weeks for sellers to get a reasonable offer, potentially meaning that residents of these areas want to sell up quickly or are just met with an offer they like in less time.”

Categories: Ohio News

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